In a land area of 2,672 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the province of Bulacan and the Municipality of Valenzuela. Several rivers can be found here the largest one being the Angat Dam. The Sierra Mountain range form the highlands of the province.
The Province of Bulacan has five congressional districts, 21 municipalities and 3 cities with an aggregate of 569 barangays.
1st District Towns: Bulacan, Calumpit, Hagonoy, Malolos City, Paombong and Pulilan.
2nd District Towns: Baliuag, Balagtas, Bocaue, Bustos, Guiguinto, Pandi and Plaridel
3rd District Towns: Angat, Doña Remedios Trinidad, Norzagaray, San Ildefonso, San Miguel and San Rafael
4th District Towns: Marilao, Meycauayan City, Obando and Santa Maria Lone District of San Jose del Monte City
Valenzuela City is bordered by Quezon City and northern Caloocan City to the east; Malabon City and southern Caloocan City to the south; Obando in Bulacan province to the west; and Meycauayan City, also in Bulacan province, to the north.
Its global position is between 14"39' N latitude and 120"54' and 121"02 E longitude. Highest elevation point is 38 meters above sea level, average elevation of 2.0 meters above sea level, with a surface gradient of 0.55%. The slope is level to gently undulating.
Valenzuela obtained cityhood status on Feb. 14, 1998. The city, considered the northern gateway to Metro Manila, is today a vibrant, highly-urbanized industrial and residential suburb of the Philippines capital.
The total population in the diocese is 3,998,480. A majority of these are Tagalogs while there are some Kampangpangan, Bisaya and Muslims.
The Dumagat people are of the Agta Negrito groups, found in Luzon. Taken from the words "gubat" (forest) and "hubad" (naked), Dumagats were a nomadic people who, in earlier days, moved from forest to forest using "kaingin" (slash-and-burn agriculture) to survive and in search of better habitation.
The language used in the province is predominantly Tagalog. Most of the people in Bulacan can speak English. Other dialects used by the townfolks are Waray, Ilocano, Bicolano and Kapampangan.
The Diocese of Malolos was created on Nov. 25, 1961. The Diocese of Malolos, with jurisdiction over the Province of Bulacan and the City of Valenzuela in Metropolitan Manila, was erected on March 11, 1962 by Pope John XXIII.
On March 11, 1962, the Malolos Cathedral became the site of the formal installation of the first resident bishop of Malolos, Bishop Manuel del Rosario, D.D. In the celebration, Bishop del Rosario was installed by Archbishop Salvatore Siino, then papal nuncio to the Philippines.
The diocese celebrated its golden anniversary in 2012.
Diocese has the biggest church cooperative in the Philippines-St. Martin of Tours Cooperative in Bocaue and the Holy Cross Cooperative in Malinta, which encompasses several cooperatives all over the Philippines.
It is the biggest diocese (not archdiocese) in the Philippines, in terms of geography, in terms of established parish, and in terms of population.
The diocese runs a Diocesan Environment Ecology program under Father Efren Basco, cleaning Marilao River and next, the Meycauyan River, listed as one of the dirtiest rivers in the whole world. Plus the Biak na Bato project, to stop quarrying.
Emphasis is put on establishing BECs all throughout big diocese.
It is one of rare dioceses with 3 National Shrines: National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Sta. Rosa, Marilao; National Shrine of St. Ann in Hagonoy; National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Karuhatan, Valenzuela; the Cathedral is a minor basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
There are two diocesan shrines: Shrine of Mary, Mother of Eucharist and Grace in San Vicente, Sta Maria; Shrine of Sacred Heart in San Rafael.
Two saints lived in the diocese, a Korean martyr (there is now a Korean church in Bocaue); and a Franciscan who served in the parish of St. Francis in Meycauayan, San Pedro Bautista. He planted the missionary cross in Meycauayan. Two sisters are under petition for sainthood, the Talangpaz sisters who founded the Congregation of Augustinian Recollects (AR).
Jubilee cross is traveling the diocese. It took 5 years to finish the Cross.
The diocese has an active commission of clergy. Have several publications and published several books. Father Mar Arenas translated the Catechism for Filipinos in Tagalog.
Kadiwa sa Pagkapari is the apostolate for old and retired priests.
A few years later two auxiliary bishops were assigned to Malolos: Bishop Leopoldo Arcaira who arrived in 1966, then Bishop Ricardo Vidal. When Monsignor Vidal was elevated to the position of archbishop and was assigned to Lipa, Pope Paul VI gave Malolos a young and energetic prelate, Bishop Cirilo R. Almario. Then Bishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona came in 1996 until he was appointed bishop-prelate of Infanta in 2003.
Bulacan is divided into 21 municipalities and 3 cities. The province is run by a governor and a vice-governor. There is also a provincial board and congressional representatives.
Valenzuela City is located in the Philippines' National Capital Region of Metro Manila, with 32 barangays, which are divided into two Congressional districts. It was formerly a town in the province of Bulacan called Polo, which was established in 1623.
Bulacan is dubbed as "The Gateway to the Northern Philippines". The province is linked with Metro Manila through the MacArthur Highway which traverses the province from north to south. Most major towns can be reached through the North Luzon Expressway. Private cars are common in Bulacan. There are five main highways in the province.
There are several bus terminals such as Baliuag Transit, California Bus Line and Royal Eagle. Other bus companies such as Philippine Rabbit and Victory Liner, whose main terminal come from Manila, Pasay and Quezon City pass through Bulacan via the Tabang exit on their way Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.
Several means public transportation can be found in the province such as tricycle, taxi, jeeps, buses, trains and motored boats.
Annual per capita income (in Philippines Pesos) (exclude San Jose Del Monte) 42,414 (USD915 as of July 2010).
The province of Bulacan major industries are industrial estates, aquaculture, banking, bag making, food & food processing, garments and houseware. They are also known for their sweets and native delicacies and a wide variety of high quality native products.
Bulacan is a province suitable for the production of a wide variety of crops including fruits, vegetables, root crops, ornamentals and industrial crops. They are also known for their sweets and native delicacies, pyrotechnics, aquaculture, meat and meat products, jewelry, marble and marbleized limestone industry, furniture industry, leather craft, garments and Bulacan local products (Tatak Bulakeño).
Landline telephone systems are provided by Digitel and PLDT while mobile telephone services are given by Smart Communications, Globe Telecom and Sun Cellular from Digitel and PLDT. DSL and Cable internet services are provided by PLDT, Digitel, Mozcom and Pacific Internet. Wireless broadband provided by Smart Communications.
Cable television provided by Skywatch CATV and Skycable.
The literacy rate (simple literacy) is 95.87 percent in the territory.
The Fertility Dance is a famous tradition in the Bulacan province. Both locals and guests from all over the Philippines take part in this celebration. Participants usually ask the patron saints for a son or daughter, a husband or wife or for good fortune. It is celebrated every May in the town of Obando for three consecutive days: May 17 for St. Paschal, May 18 for St. Clare and May 19 for the Our Lady of Salambao. Music from instruments made out of bamboo materials accompanies the dancing. People also wear costumes during the event.
Baliuag Lenten Procession (Held on Good Friday)
The Prosisyon ng mga Santo, Baliuag's main Lenten attraction, is a grand parade of 60 lavishly decorated floats depicting scenes of the Passion and Sufferings of Christ.
Feast of the Holy Cross of Wawa (Held on 1st Sunday of July)
A festival held on the first Sunday of July observed in honor of the Holy Cross of Wawa (Mahal na Krus sa Wawa) which is said to have saved the life of an old woman who was drowning. The main feature of this fiesta celebration is the Pagoda which, glides along the Bocaue River. The Pagoda is a gaily-decorated structure riding on a huge banca (boat). People from all walks of life enjoy the ride on the Pagoda feasting on sumptuous food while the music play.
Calumpit Libad Festival (Held during June 23-24)
A fluvial procession of well-decorated pagodas is held on the river every 23rd of June right before the annual town fiesta in honor of St. John the Baptist. Townfolks gaily sing, dance and frenzily douse water to "baptize" passers-by - prepare to get wet.
Pulilan Carabao Festival (Held during May 14-15)
Hundreds of work animals, mostly carabaos (water buffalos), are led on a parade in the streets of the town every 14th and 15th of May to honor its patron saint, San Isidro Labrador. The carabaos decorated with garland and shaved for the occasion, genuflect or kneel in front of the church. Witness the colorful Carabao Festival and religious activities of the town. On May 14, farmers all over the town pay tribute to their patron saint, San Isidro Labrador, in glorious thanksgiving for a year-long bountiful harvest. The celebration is manifested by hanging all sorts of fruits, candies, food crops and multi-colored kipings (a rice flour concoction that is formed into leaves and multicolored and edible) on bamboo poles. The affair is highlighted by kneeling of carabaos in front of the church and the symbolic floats. Every year, a sea of frolicking humanity comes in droves to witness these showcasing inate talents of the carabaos.
Plaridel Horse Festival (Held during December 29-30)
Herd of horses with colorful tiburins (a light carriage with two wheels, one-horse carriage for one person [like a tilbury/sulky]] parading in the streets of Plaridel in reverence to St. James the Apostle every 29th and 30th of December.
Linggo ng Bulakan (Held during September 8-15)
Malolos City, Bulacan
A week-long celebration featuring the history of Bulacan, exhibits of Bulacan products, cooking contest, on the spot painting contest, various colourful cultural presentations, art and culinary exhibits, arts and skills contest. Yearly, its activities vary depending upon the chosen theme for the year.
Mano Po San Roque Festival (May 12)
San Roque (St. Roche) is the Patron Saint of the sick and invalid, but in Valenzuela City, he is also known as the Patron Saint of the unmarried. Through the years, the Sayawan sa Calle (dance in the street) had drawn single men and women from inside and outside the city to ask for help in finding their true love. It is hailed as the oldest and the only celebration of its kind in the whole of Metro Manila.
Feast of San Diego De Alcala (November 12)
Celebration of the feast of the oldest church in Valenzuela City, which includes annual boat racing, street dancing and different fabulous activities of the festival.
Gonsalo's martyrdom at Nagasaki with the other Christian missionaries is regarded as the most tragic and historic event for Catholicism in Japan
Calungsod and his companion Father Vitores baptized infants, children and adults, defying the risk of persecution and murder
Despite being an ordinary layman, Ruiz remained defiant while facing torture by the Japanese and died a brave martyr
He was the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is now the patron saint of Korea
The Cathedral of Good Shepherd in Singapore is a historic National Monument, but it also holds first-class relics of a French saint who brought Catholicism on the shores of city-state two centuries ago. Built in 1847, the Good Shepherd Cathedral is the oldest Catholic Church and mother church of all Catholic churches in Singapore.
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
Asian Catholics who cannot visit famous Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in France can revere miraculous Mother Mary at Velankanni shrine in India. The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is popularly known as “the Lourdes of the East” and holds the largest Catholic Church in Asia.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
The shrine holds a three-meter-tall, white-stone carved statue Virgin Mary on the Tao Pao Mountain in the Diocese of Phan Thiet in southern Vietnam, about 1,600 kilometers from the national capital Hanoi.
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Urakami of Nagasaki is a witness of persecution of Christians from 17th to 19th centuries and deadly atomic bombing during the Second World War. This European-style, red-brick church continues to preserve some relics that survived the atomic bombing. Urakami cathedral, also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral, was almost destroyed when the atomic bomb was dropped on Aug. 9, 1945. The church stood about 500 meters from the hypocenter of atomic explosion. The devastation shattered and charred stone-made statues of saints, which were later preserved as relics along with the surviving head of Virgin Mary statue and one of the church’s original bells.
Our Lady of Akita Catholic Church is Yuzawadai is among the most famous churches in Japan. The church shot into global fame thanks to a wooden statue of Blessed Virgin Mary that wept 101 times and Marian apparitions to Japanese nun Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa that miraculously healed her hearing impairment. Japanese wooden sculptor Saburo Wakasa from Akita city carved the now-famous miraculous statue of Virgin Mary in 1963.